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Last March, the Maryland General Assembly passed House Bill 732, which imposed a new “gross revenues tax” on digital advertising services. Governor Larry Hogan vetoed the bill in May. Earlier today, the Maryland State Senate completed the General Assembly’s override of the Governor’s veto, making the Maryland digital advertising tax the first of its kind in the United States. House Bill 732 adds a new tax (imposed in a new Title 7.5) to the Tax…

State legislators have already proposed a number of digital and data tax bills in 2021, some of which are new proposals while others reintroduce proposals from previous legislative sessions.  The proposed bills fall into one of three categories: taxes on digital advertising services, taxes (or fees) targeting social media providers, and taxes on the sale or monetization of personal data.  Most of the proposals are in the early stages, but a Maryland bill originally introduced last year is moving closer to a legislative vote on whether to override the governor’s veto.

In an era of ever-expanding state tax bases, there are two new legislative proposals in Maryland (SB 2) and Nebraska (LB 989) that seek to either extend a current tax base (in the case of Nebraska, the sales tax base) or create a new tax (in the case of Maryland) to capture digital advertising revenues. The Maryland tax also signals a continued trend toward nuanced gross-receipts-type taxes. If a tax targeting digital advertising services sounds familiar, that is because the Ohio Department of Taxation attempted to extend the Ohio sales tax to digital advertising services in 2016 (though this extension was rejected by the Ohio Legislature’s enactment of an exemption from the sales tax for digital advertising services later that same year).